Dog the Bounty Hunter says ‘I’m no longer afraid to die’ after losing wife Beth

He’s come face to face with some of the world’s most dangerous crooks.

But Dog the Bounty Hunter went through his toughest experience yet when his wife of 13 years died from cancer.

Beth also starred in his popular reality TV shows but passed away in June last year aged 51 while filming the pair’s new series Dog’s Most Wanted.

“It is the worst thing I have ever been through in my entire life,” says Dog, whose real name is Duane Chapman.

“It just feels terrible to lose a spouse and have your wife go before you.

“I’ve had to adjust – Beth isn’t there anymore telling me to stay back or warning me a guy is about to shoot.

“But I’m no longer afraid to die. I don’t want to die, but I’m not scared anymore. When I go to catch somebody, I stick out my chest and go for it.”

Dog’s Most Wanted sees the ruthless bounty hunter on a mission to make America safe again, pursuing criminals on the run with the help of his family.

But it also shows a more human side to the 67-year-old, opening with Beth receiving news her cancer has returned after it went into remission and then going on to follow her treatment throughout the series.

The final episode, called Farewell to a Queen, deals with Beth being put into a medically-induced coma as her symptoms worsen, with the Chapman family having to make the agonising decision to switch off her life support.

And while Dog initially wanted to stop filming the series, Beth, who once said, “If I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die in my boots”, wanted to continue making the show.

“Fans will know from watching our shows that I could always recommend things to Beth, but I could never tell her what to do,” says Dog.

“I told her we shouldn’t do this series. If it was me in her position, there would be no way we would be filming and going out looking for guys. But she wanted to do it, and she says it in Dog’s Most Wanted when she goes ‘this is not Big Daddy’s idea, this is mine’. She chose to do that.

“Viewers can expect a lot of tears, but there’s laughter too and a lot of action.”

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When it initially came out in September last year in the US, Dog’s Most Wanted set records for the show’s broadcaster WGN, something he says is a “fitting tribute” to Beth.

Dog has been supported by fans as he grieves for his wife, but has had some negative comments too.

But trolls should watch out because he often tracks down people who say bad things about him.

He explains: “When I was starting out, Dolly Parton taught me, ‘Don’t ever read the bad comments’, so I try not to read hate mail, but when I do I like to find the people and ask them to meet me face to face.

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“Recently there was this guy from West Virginia who was calling me the kind of names you can go to hell for, and I was in the area so I called him and asked him to go for lunch.

“He ended up buying me my food, and now I call him every week. He’s become a friend. I don’t think all trolls really mean it.”

Dog first shot to international fame in 2003 when he captured Max Factor cosmetics heir Andrew Luster, who had fled the US in the middle of his trial after he was charged with drugging and raping several women.

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Since then, he has captured more than 8,000 fugitives and says in particular he always wants to go after people who have committed sexual assaults on women or children, or have beaten up women.

“That always gets to me,” says Dog. “I’ve caught guys who’ve changed a woman’s whole face with their fist. I want to take down those kinds of people.

“I love my job. I really enjoy taking out people who hurt other people and I like getting into their heart and soul to see what makes them tick and try to change it.

“On Dog’s Most Wanted, the people we go after are all guys who have done violent crimes. One of the men got 55 years in prison for raping a four-year-old girl.

“I never get scared coming face to face with these guys – if you’re scared you shouldn’t go into this career, but you have to be cautious.”

Dog has also vowed to continue bounty hunting for as long as possible.

He says: “I can’t quit because so many people depend on me. I have to keep going and that has helped me try and come to terms with my loss.

“I am probably the luckiest man you’ve ever met in your life. I’ve had a lot of tragedies, but I’ve had more outstanding life experiences than almost anybody else.”

Dog’s Most Wanted is on Thursdays weekly at 9pm exclusively on Blaze

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